Call to resume long-distance trains

The Confederation of All India Rail Users’ Association has requested the Central government to ensure the services of major trains to Kerala to avoid further spread of COVID-19 by reducing crowding by passengers in the few trains that are operating at present.

C.E. Chakkunny, president of the confederation, said that people were crowding in long-distance buses in the absence of enough train services, which could lead to further spread of the pandemic. “Travelling in trains following COVID protocol is much safer compared with the journey in buses. It will be a boon to regular commuters in the present financial crisis,” he said.The association appreciated the decision to restart the services such as Mangaluru-Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai-Mangaluru, Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram and Chennai-Palakkad services.

However, stopping the service of Kannur-Yeshwanthpur train due to lack of passengers was not appreciated. “This will cause further difficulties for passengers in the coming Christmas-New Year season,” he said.

Hardship for passengers

Besides, the timing of major trains that start from Delhi had been changed and they would reach Kerala at midnight. Also, stops had been cut short. This would cause further problems to passengers who got stranded at railway stations quite often without any means to reach home. It also caused additional expenses to the passengers, the confederation claimed.

The confederation said that the absence of long distance trains within the State, lack of passenger-MEMU services for short journeys, absence of pantry cars, senior citizens being denied their benefits, continuation of restrictions of the lockdown period and non-availability of eateries or drinking water in even major stations, were the reasons for poor patronage of the services.

The Kerala wing of the confederation plans to approach the authorities concerned with these requests immediately.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 4:16:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/call-to-resume-long-distance-trains/article33235070.ece

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